Couple Received $167,000 in Welfare While Living on $1.2M Yacht

Image: Couple Received $167,000 in Welfare While Living on $1.2M Yacht Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman displays photos of a yacht bought by alleged welfare cheats Andrea and Colin Chisholm.

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 09:24 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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A wealthy Minnesota couple who lived on a $1.2 million yacht while receiving $167,000 in welfare payments are being hunted by police.

Colin and Andrea Chisholm face up to 20 years in prison on charges that they were given healthcare assistance, food stamps, and cash by the state of Minnesota while also getting handouts from Florida's welfare programs, according to CBS Minnesota.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office in Minnesota claims the couple lived in the lap of luxury while ripping off the two states. They had nearly $3 million in the bank, a luxury lakefront home in Minnesota, and an 83-foot yacht they bought in Florida, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported

"I've never ridden on a yacht that nice, and I bet most of us haven't, but they were living on it while they were collecting public assistance," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Colin Chisholm, 62, is an executive officer of the TCN Network, which provides satellite TV and broadband service for Caribbean countries. Andrea Chisholm, 54, reportedly owned a dog kennel which bred and sold championship Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies.

Freeman said, "It is truly outrageous when persons of considerable means steal from the government and all of us taxpayers through abusing the social welfare system."

According to CBS, the Chisholms initially stated they were living in Andrea's mother's home in Minneapolis when they first claimed welfare benefits in 2005. They later moved to Florida, where they lived for 28 months on their sprawling yacht before moving into a house.

They moved back to Minnesota in 2007 and applied for more benefits while living in their opulent lakefront home. Their welfare benefits were eventually terminated in 2012.

The couple is believed to have fled the country after cashing a $120,000 check in $100 bills.


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